Phillies Notes | Hamels gives up 5 runs, 4 homers

Phillies Notes

This isn't how Cole Hamels wanted to end his spring training.

The lefthander surrendered five runs and four home runs in five exhibition innings last night as the Phillies dropped a 6-5 decision to the Boston Red Sox in front of 25,786 fans at Citizens Bank Park.

In a tune-up for his Wednesday start against Atlanta, Hamels served solo homers to Manny Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia and Philly favorite J.D. Drew, along with a two-run blast by Kevin Youkilis.

"Obviously, it's another day that I'm glad didn't count," Hamels said.

Hamels, 23, finished with a 6.10 earned run average this spring. He served up nine homers in 202/3 innings.

"I don't know how many people have given up this many home runs and made the team, so I'm not happy about it," he said.

Hamels said he was "testing the waters" last night and "throwing pitches [fastballs] in counts that I normally wouldn't."

He struck out five and walked none. His fastball lacked zip, topping out at 87 m.p.h., but manager Charlie Manuel said he wasn't concerned.

"I question the gun. I thought he was throwing harder," the manager said.

Hamels is looking forward to the games that count "and you have the intensity and adrenaline that's been lacking the last few months."

A year ago, Hamels was 9-8 with a 4.08 ERA, and he ranked third among rookies in strikeouts (145) and seventh in wins.

Bullpen the key

Phillies general manager Pat Gillick has been impressed with the strides his relievers have made, but he hasn't ruled out the possibility of upgrading the bullpen.

Gillick is comfortable with his club's offense, starting pitching and defense.

"But we have to get consistency in the bullpen," he said before last night's exhibition game. "If they get consistent, we'll be fine. If not, we'll have to locate people who are more consistent."

In their first 16 games this spring, the Phillies' relievers had an 8.13 ERA; in their last 15 games, they have a 2.25 ERA.

DL moves

The Phillies placed righthander Freddy Garcia (right biceps tendinitis), righthander Jon Lieber (right abdominal muscle strain), and catcher Ryan Budde (left abdominal muscle strain) on the disabled list retroactive to March 23. They are eligible to be reinstated April 7.

Budde, who hit .200 in five spring at-bats and wasn't expected to make the club, was a Rule 5 selection from the Los Angeles Angels.

With Garcia and Lieber on the DL, it appears that Zack Segovia (0-2, 4.30) will start the season with the big-league club. Garcia threw 40 pitches on the side last night and felt no discomfort, Manuel said.

Catcher Chris Coste, who has been battling a strained right hamstring, still could go on the disabled list. Rosters must be set by 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Manuel said the Phils would decide today whether to keep 11 or 12 pitchers.

Game stuff

The Phillies (12-17-2) scored four ninth-inning runs to get within 6-5, but with runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Michael Bourn struck out swinging against righthander Travis Hughes to end the game. . . . Phillies third baseman Wes Helms, not known for his glove, made a tumbling catch of David Ortiz's third-inning foul pop and a diving stop before throwing out Mike Lowell in the fourth. Helms (.385) had two of the Phils' 13 hits. . . . Rightfielder Shane Victorino was in Las Vegas for the birth of his daughter, Kali'a Makenna Victorino-Smith.

The Natural

Greg Dobbs ranked in the top 10 in five offensive categories this spring before being used as the Phillies' designated hitter last night. Claimed off waivers from Seattle in January, Dobbs entered the night tied for the league lead with 17 RBIs.

When Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas introduced the players to the crowd in a pregame ceremony, he said Dobbs "has been called Roy Hobbs this spring."

- Sam Carchidi